Christmas Homily 2020 from Fr David

 

In a Nativity play, two of the important roles are Mary and Joseph. Despite this fact, in this is my 28th Christmas homily as a priest and I have never in all those years of preaching homed in on St Joseph. This is a blatant omission but I am going to put things right. That’s because this year Pope Francis has declared a year of St Joseph which started on 8th December. Joseph did not exactly have an easy time leading up to the birth of Jesus. All the unique circumstances around Mary conceiving Jesus by the Holy Spirit would have been very difficult to accept for a lesser man than Joseph. One of his greatest qualities is that he trusted God, he also listened to God and was guided by what he heard.


As well as this, he was chosen by God because of his simple faith and his love for Mary. He materially provided for Jesus through his trade, and thus provided a loving home for him. Joseph was a descendant of King David which links Jesus with him, and is the reason why Jesus was born in Bethlehem, David’s town, which is where the prophets foretold the Messiah (the Christ) would come from.


No actual words of St Joseph are recorded in the Gospels/Bible ~ but he is a highly revered saint perhaps even a bit underrated by many people. However his actions speak louder than any words ever could. I am reminded of the words of the Ronan Keating song ~ “You say it best when you say nothing at all”. That sums up Joseph a quiet, simple, trusting and trustworthy man of God whose loving actions spoke louder than any words ever could.


Therefore what better role model and companion can we have through the continuing Pandemic than to have St Joseph, a man of few words but very powerful selfless loving actions. Through the uncertain circumstances he finds himself in he continues to trust God and be guided by him. As well as the unusual circumstances leading up to the birth of Christ, Joseph also had to deal with finding somewhere to stay in busy Bethlehem; he no doubt despite the anxious circumstance remained calm and serene. Also he will go onto lead the Holy Family into exile in Egypt to protect the newly born Christ from danger of death. In our own uncertain times we need the assuring St Joseph at our side to reassure us all will be well if we trust in God.


Please gaze (from more of a distance than usual) upon the crib scene this Christmas either here in church or our beautiful new hand-made crib outside St Mary’s church amidst the hustle and bustle of Yorkshire street in the heart of Burnley. As you do so notice among the other beautiful figures of Jesus, Mary, the shepherds and the animals, the reassuring and serene presence of St Joseph. Remember he has been put there by God gently but calmly without need for words telling us to trust, to keep our faith and remain full of hope.

 

 

 

 

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Fourth Sunday of Advent:

 

 

Click here for Advent Hymn lyrics

Advent Hymns: Fourth Sunday of Advent

From the  Laudate Hymn Book. Hymn number in brackets.

Click on the hymn you want to go to:

 

1. My soul is filled with joy (and Holy is His Name) 339

2. The Angel Gabriel from Heaven came 113

3. O come O come Emmanuel 112

4. The Voice of God (same tune as "Tell out my soul") 108

Note: if the organ music finishes before Mass starts, it loops back to the beginning. Close this window when Mass starts - click anywhere outside the window.

 

339 ~ My soul is filled with joy (and Holy is His Name)

1.  My soul is filled with joy
as I sing to God my saviour:
He has looked upon his servant,
He has visited his people.

    2. I am lowly as a child,
but I know from this day forward
that my name will be remembered,
for all men will call me blessed.
    4. To the hungry he gives food,
sends the rich away empty.
In his mercy he is mindful
of the people he has chosen.

And holy is his name
through all generations!
Everlasting is his mercy
to the people he has chosen,
and holy is his name!

  3. I proclaim the pow'r of God,
He does marvels for his servants;
though he scatters the proud-hearted
and destroys the might of princes.
 

5. In his love he now fulfills
what he promised to our fathers.
I will praise the Lord, my saviour.
Everlasting is his mercy.

Anonymous


 

113 ~ The Angel Gabriel from Heaven came

 1. The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame
‘All hail’ said he ‘thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!

   3. Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
‘To me be as it pleaseth God,’ she said,
‘My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.’
Most highly favoured lady. Gloria!
 2. ‘For know a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel, by seers foretold
Most highly favoured lady." Gloria!
   4. Of her, Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say
‘Most highly favoured lady.’ Gloria!
   
Basque carol, paraphrased by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834 - 1924)


 

112 ~ O come O come Emmanuel

 1 O come. O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear:
 

 3 O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height
in ancient times, didst give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe:

   6 O come. thou dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night.
and death's dark shadows put to flight:

Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel

shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 4 O come. thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them vict'ry o'er the grave:

   7 O come. desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind:
bid every sad division cease.
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
2 O come, thou wisdom from on high,
and order all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show.
and teach us in her ways to go.
  5 O come. thou key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.
  From the ‘Great O Antiphons’
(12th-13th C.) tr. J.M. Neale (1816-66)
(vv 1,3,5,6: composit (others)

 

 

108 ~ The Voice of God (same tune as "Tell out my soul")

 1. The voice of God goes out to all the world:
his glory speaks across the universe.

The Great King's herald cries from star to star:
  

    3. The Lord has said: Receive my messenger,
my promise to the world, my pledge made flesh.
a lamp to every nation, light from light: 
   

5. Anointed with the Spirit and with power,
he comes to crown with comfort all the weak,
to show the face of justice to the poor:

 With power, with justice, he will walk his way     

    4. The broken reed he will not trample down,
nor set his heel upon the ding flame.
He binds the wounds, and health is in his hand:
   6. His touch will bless the eyes that darkness held,

the lame shall run. the halting tongue shall sing,
and prisoners laugh in light and liberty:

Luke Connaunghton {1919 - 79)

2. Give glory to the mystery revealed,
the voice of God, his image and his Word:
his word of peace, the image of his grace:
   


 

 

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Second Sunday of Advent:

 

 

Click here for Advent Hymn lyrics

Advent Hymns: Second Sunday of Advent

Laudate Hymn Book (hymn number in brackets) - 

click on the hymn you want to go to:

1. On Jordan's banks the Baptist's cry (94)

2. Long ago prophets knew (same tune as "God is Love") (116)

3. The Voice of God (same tune as "Tell out my soul") (108)

4. Like a sea without a shore (Maranatha) (84)

5. Christ be our Light  (883)

Note: if the organ music finishes before Mass starts, it loops back to the beginning. Close this window when Mass starts - click anywhere outside the window.

 

94 ~ On Jordan's banks the Baptist's cry  

  1. On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh:
come then and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings from the King of kings.

    3. For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace our souls must fade,
and wither like a flower decayed.
     5. All praise, eternal Son, to thee
whose advent sets thy people free,
whom, with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost, for evermore.

 2. Then cleansed be every Christian breast,
and furnished for so great a guest!
Yea, let us each our heart prepare,
for Christ to come and enter there.

   4. Stretch forth thy hand to heal our sore,
and make us rise, to fall no more;
once more upon thy people shine,
and fill the world with love divine.
 

  C. Coffin (1676-1749},

tr. J. Chandler (1808-76) 

 

116 ~ Long ago prophets knew (same tune as "God is Love") 

 1. Long ago, prophets knew
Christ would come, born a Jew,
come to make all things new,
bear his people's burden,
freely love and pardon.

  2. God in time, God in man,
this is God's timeless plan:
he will come, as a man,
born himself of woman,
God divinely human:
  4. Journey ends: where afar
Bethlem shines, like a star,
stable door stands ajar.
Unborn Son of Mary.
Saviour, do not tarry.
Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes,
when he comes,
who will make him welcome?
  3. Mary, hail! Though afraid,
she believed, she obeyed.
In her womb God is laid,
till the time expected,
nurtured and protected: 
 

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes,
when he comes,
we will make him welcome. 

        F. Pratt Green (1903-2000)


 

108 ~ The Voice of God (same tune as "Tell out my soul") 

 1. The voice of God goes out to all the world:
his glory speaks across the universe.

The Great King's herald cries from star to star:
  

    3. The Lord has said: Receive my messenger,
my promise to the world, my pledge made flesh.
a lamp to every nation, light from light: 
   

5. Anointed with the Spirit and with power,
he comes to crown with comfort all the weak,
to show the face of justice to the poor:

 With power, with justice, he will walk his way     

    4. The broken reed he will not trample down,
nor set his heel upon the ding flame.
He binds the wounds, and health is in his hand:
   6. His touch will bless the eyes that darkness held,

the lame shall run. the halting tongue shall sing,
and prisoners laugh in light and liberty:

Luke Connaunghton {1919 - 79)

2. Give glory to the mystery revealed,
the voice of God, his image and his Word:
his word of peace, the image of his grace:
   

 

84 ~ Like a sea without a shore (Maranatha) 

1. Like a sea without a shore
love divine is boundless.
God is now and evermore
and his love surrounds us.

  2. So that we could all be free
he appeared among us,
blest are those who have not seen,
yet believe his promise.
   4. Death where is your victory?
Death where is your sting?
Closer than the air we breathe
is our risen King.
 Maranatha! Maranatha!
Maranatha!
Come, Lord Jesus, come!
   3. All our visions, all our dreams,
are but ghostly shadows
of the radiant clarity
wailing at life's close.
 

 

Estelle White (1926-2011)

 

883 ~ Christ be our Light  

1. Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own. your holy people,
light for the world to see. 
 

2. Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us,
Make us your living voice. 

  4. Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stones. 
 Christ he our light!
Shine in our hearts,
shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.
   3. Longing for food, many are hungry,
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
Make us your living voice.
   5. Many the gifts, many the people,

many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
Making your kingdom come.

Bernadette Farrell

 

 

 

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Third Sunday of Advent:

 

 

Click here for Advent Hymn lyrics

Advent Hymns: Third Sunday of Advent

Hymn number in brackets. Laudate Hymn Book except for "When Is He Coming?" - Hymns Old and New

Click on the hymn you want to go to:

1. Keep on Looking (He will come) (89)

2. When is He coming? (Hymns Old and New 608)

3. Christ be our Light  (883)

4. Long ago prophets knew (same tune as "God is Love") (116)

Note: if the organ music finishes before Mass starts, it loops back to the beginning. Close this window when Mass starts - click anywhere outside the window.

 

 89 ~ Keep on Looking (He will come)

 1. Keep on looking, go on seeking,
don’t stop hoping, He will come.
Keep awake now, watch and pray now,
trust and see that He will come.
Shake off slumber, dawn is breaking,
come with full expectancy!
Years of longing, years of hoping,
all fulfilled when Christ we see

    2. Blessed angels, saints and sinners,
all rejoice to see this day.
Poor or wealthy, high or lowly,
all must help to clear His way.
Down among us He has chosen
here to taste our cup of life;
who would guess that He’d be coming
here to share both joy and strife?
    3. Hearts will wonder, eyes must open,
ears shall catch his ev’ry word:
Words of thunder, words of wisdom,
words like these were never heard.
Through the ages we’ve been waiting,
countless prayers above did fly;
Now he’s coming here among us:
here to live and here to die.

 

   

 Willard F Jabusch


 

When Is He Coming? 

1.When is he coming,
When, oh when is he coming, the Redeemer?
When will we see him,
When, oh when will we see him, the Redeemer?

  2.Long years a-waiting,
Many years here a-waiting the Redeemer!
Ready to greet him,
Always ready to meet him, the Redeemer!
   3. Spare us from evil,
from the clutches of evil, O Redeemer!
Though we are sinners
We have known your forgiveness, O Redeemer!
Come, oh come, from your kingdom up there,
from your kingdom up there above!
Come, oh come, to your people on earth,
to your people on earth bring love!
Emmanuel! Emmanuel! Emmanuel!
   

 

 David Palmer


 

883 ~ Christ be our Light  

1. Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own. your holy people,
light for the world to see. 
 

2. Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us,
Make us your living voice. 

  4. Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stones. 
 Christ he our light!
Shine in our hearts,
shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.
   3. Longing for food, many are hungry,
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
Make us your living voice.
   5. Many the gifts, many the people,

many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
Making your kingdom come.

Bernadette Farrell

 

116 ~ Long ago prophets knew (same tune as "God is Love") 

 1. Long ago, prophets knew
Christ would come, born a Jew,
come to make all things new,
bear his people's burden,
freely love and pardon.

  2. God in time, God in man,
this is God's timeless plan:
he will come, as a man,
born himself of woman,
God divinely human:
  4. Journey ends: where afar
Bethlem shines, like a star,
stable door stands ajar.
Unborn Son of Mary.
Saviour, do not tarry.
Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes,
when he comes,
who will make him welcome?
  3. Mary, hail! Though afraid,
she believed, she obeyed.
In her womb God is laid,
till the time expected,
nurtured and protected: 
 

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes,
when he comes,
we will make him welcome. 

        F. Pratt Green (1903-2000)

 

 

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11/01/2021

 

 

David Hartley RIP 200

 

 

 

David Hartley

 

 

 

 

 

When Farther David said at Sunday morning's Mass that he was very saddened to hear of the death of David Hartly he was reflecting what a great many people in the parish felt. Not only had David Hartley done so much for St John's and, more latterly, the Parsh of the Good Samaritan as a whole, he played a key role in the creation of this website and so it is only right and fitting that he should be remembered here.

 

David was much admired and respected by so many who knew him that tributes have poured in. Some of them are shared below, with grateful thanks to their authors for permission:

 

We will pray for David that the angels welcome him and he receives his reward for all the work he has undertaken on behalf of the Parish for so many years. May God rest his soul and console his family.

Anne Marie

He was loved and highly respected by so many and will be so missed. He was truly a great man, and so too will his reward in heaven be great. We pray that David will rest in everlasting peace and that God will console and comfort his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Bernadette

It struck me from time to time how, in a very quiet and unpretentious way, David was very devout as a Catholic. Bless you, David, you could also be as stubborn as a mule (Eileen and Rachael may know more about that!). Reflecting on those two things, I can see a clear connection, and they were both, I am sure, within the Lord's plan for his life, for all that he was able to give to us all.

David

David was a man with a big heart, boundless energy and commitment for the Church and parish. God rest his soul and grant comfort to Rachael, Eileen, Fiona and all the family at this most difficult of times.

Dominic

Over many years David was constantly involved and supported all the many various groups at St John's. He was always there to help when it was needed and he was a firm friend to many.
In more recent times he has been a friend and support to our new priests, He will be missed by everyone in every area of work at St Johns as a friend, guide and support. God rest you David and sincere sympathy to your dear family.

Eileen E

David will always be remembered at Saint John's. We have been in the parish for over 40 years and David has always been there. He was a very kind, caring and hardworking man who devoted his life to his family and the church. For the parish of Saint Johns, he was like the head of a very loving family. He always showed concern and care for others and made light of his own problems. The comfort his family and friends can take following his sad death is that the selfless love, devotion and faith that he showed throughout his life will surely be rewarded in heaven.

Eileen and Patrick

He was a Good Samaritan in every sense...

Fr David

He was such a lovely man indeed and will be greatly missed. Love to Rachael and all the family xx

Julie

I had the privilege of working  at church with David over the last few months what a dedicated and prayerful man he was all the unknown kindness he has shown to so many people over the years
Rest in peace dear David

Margaret

David will be missed by all who knew him. He was a man with a big heart and a very generous person in more ways than one. He was the face of St John's as everyone knew him and if you wanted to know anything, ask David. He was a friend to many and will leave a very big hole which wont be filled. Both on a personal level and from the SVP members I send my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to Eileen, Rachael and all the family. May the Good Lord watch over you all and bring you comfort. RIP David  it has been a privilege to have known you.

Marie

"David's devotion and dedication to the Parish of St John's was unequalled. He was always there working behind the scenes or visible in the in the church answering questions, organising or sharing a caring word with someone. 
When my niece was going through a tough time with her health, David would make a point to search me out before mass to enquire how she was doing. It meant alot to my sister and I. His kindness and caring words were a great comfort. St John's parish was so important to him and he was determined to help keep it running smoothly, even though in poor health. A true Christian who will be so missed by all. 

Sandra

We continue to pray for David and all his family with love and thanks for all his hard work, support and kindness over the years. I'm sure he is welcomed by "well done good and faithful servant" love and God bless to Rachel and family and also to all in the group here too

Veronica

I can't remember when I first came across David it seems like he's always been in the parish. 

On reflection it seems he's been part of the parish family for 30 years during which he supported me personally, by listening and helping with problems within my family, with illnesses and especially when my daughter died suddenly over 9 years ago. I was so grateful for his help organising the funeral and afterwards at the parish hall. He said don't worry we're all one family and that's what families do, we support each other. Again when both my mum and dad died.

I help in the repository on Sundays and as my "boss" also used to keep an eye on me but it gave me a chance to see how much he was quietly doing after the mass. 

He has a legacy of all the good work he did tirelessly and as a prayerful Catholic but it is also the time and interest he took in people on a personal level.

There's so much he did and so much to be grateful for. As a parishioner worshipping at St John's and despite the pandemic, whatever we do collectively going forward we do owe in no small part to David and his example.

God bless him and his family.

Veronica G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21/12/2020

201221

 

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21/12/2020

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Advent Prayer Share

 Churches Working Together in Burnley

 

Open a new door of the Advent Prayer Share Advent Calendar each day and a new short prayer will be revealed.

Today's Advent prayer is from PJ of Sion Baptist Church


 

Burnley Churches Advent Calendar

 

To view or download a booklet containing the text of all the short Advent Prayers please click here

 If you'd like to catch up on previous prayers, or simply view again, click here then select the date you want. 

 

 

22/12/2020

 201222

 

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22/12/2020

CWTIB Logo 120

Advent Prayer Share

 Churches Working Together in Burnley

 

Open a new door of the Advent Prayer Share Advent Calendar each day and a new short prayer will be revealed.

Today's Advent prayer is from Alan of St Peter's CofE Church

 

Burnley Churches Advent Calendar

To view or download a booklet containing the text of all the short Advent Prayers please click here

 If you'd like to catch up on previous prayers, or simply view again, click here then select the date you want. 

 

23/12/2020

 201223

 

PreviousLink2 300

 

23/12/2020

CWTIB Logo 120

Advent Prayer Share

 Churches Working Together in Burnley

 

Open a new door of the Advent Prayer Share Advent Calendar each day and a new short prayer will be revealed.

Today's Advent prayer is from Barbara of Burnley and Nelson United Reformed Church

 

Burnley Churches Advent Calendar

To view or download a booklet containing the text of all the short Advent Prayers please click here

 If you'd like to catch up on previous prayers, or simply view again, click here then select the date you want. 

 

 

24/12/2020

 201224

 

PreviousLink2 300

 

24/12/2020

CWTIB Logo 120

Advent Prayer Share

 Churches Working Together in Burnley

 

Open a new door of the Advent Prayer Share Advent Calendar each day and a new short prayer will be revealed.

Today's Advent prayer is from Derek (St Matthew’s CofE) and Beverly (St Stephen’s CofE)

 

Burnley Churches Advent Calendar

To view or download a booklet containing the text of all the short Advent Prayers please click here

 If you'd like to catch up on previous prayers, or simply view again, click here then select the date you want. 

 

 

25/12/2020

 201225

 

PreviousLink2 300

 

25/12/2020

CWTIB Logo 120

Advent Prayer Share

 Churches Working Together in Burnley

 

Open a new door of the Advent Prayer Share Advent Calendar each day and a new short prayer will be revealed.

Today's Advent prayer is from Linda of St Stephen’s CofE Church

 

Burnley Churches Advent Calendar

To view or download a booklet containing the text of all the short Advent Prayers please click here

 If you'd like to catch up on previous prayers, or simply view again, click here then select the date you want. 

26/12/2020

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27/12/2020

 

Sunday Scroll

 

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 Public Masses and Services

plus Christmas Octave Masses:

for the latest times -

Please click here

 

 

 

How Social Bubble 'Chains' Spread the Virus:

each link in the chain is a Social Bubble

 

ChainsVert 2

 

Ladies & Gentlemen: Tighten Your Bubbles!

 

 

 

The next live streamed Mass will be at

6:30pm on Wednesday 11th November

Catenians Annual  Mass For Deceased Brothers

Live streaming begins at about 6:20pm with organ music

followed by the Mass itself at 6:30pm

 

 Click here for the Deceased Catenian Brothers Mass Booklet 2020

 

 

 

The next public live streamed Mass will be Sunday Morning Mass

from St Mary's on 1/11/20, the feast of All Saints

Live streaming begins at 9:20am with organ music

played & recorded by St Mary's organist Francis Ashworth

followed by the Mass itself at 9:30am

 

 

 

Suspension of Masses and services during latest National Lockdown in England


In the light of the latest Government National Lockdown, as from midnight Wednesday 4th November, churches are not allowed to open for Masses and services other than funerals and for private prayer. Therefore please note that the Masses and services scheduled for our parish as from Thursday 5th November will now not take place. Therefore our temporary programme of Masses and other services will be suspended for the time being but we hope to return to it as soon as we are permitted to do so.


Please note that St Mary’s church will be open for private prayer with Exposition on Friday 6th November from 10.15am to 11.15am and on Saturday 7th Nov and Sunday 8th Nov from 10.30am to 11.30am.


In addition our three churches will be open for private prayer and Exposition and will therefore open next week as follows:

 


St Mary’s


Monday to Friday from 10.15am to 11.15am
Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 11.30am

 


St John’s


Tues to Thurs from 11.30am to 12.30pm

(amended 15/11/20)

 


Christ the King


Mon 6.30pm to 7.30pm

 


We are very grateful to the stewards who have been so faithful and committed throughout this Pandemic and on whom we totally rely to be able to continue to keep the churches open. We will review this programme as we proceed and keep you informed through this Web site and through the Parish Newsletter.


We apologise for any inconvenience that these changes may cause. Please do see them in the light of trying to reduce the spread of the virus. Thank you. 

 

 Fr David